Online seminar recap | Navigating elder care options

Experts in homecare advise to have these conversations as soon as possible

Kris Aiken, Co-Owner, Nurse Next Door Home Care Services, Toronto, addresses the issues and questions facing many families considering homecare and caregiver support options for aging loved ones.

What is the best choice for my needs? Should I choose assisted living, a retirement home or a nursing home? What costs does the province cover? Homecare experts recommend having the conversation with your loved ones as soon as possible to determine which options meet their stated preferences and wishes. Aiken makes this easy with this seminar, which covered:

  • How to recognize the signs that help is needed
  • What is the Silver Tsunami?
  • Options for care (public versus private)
  • Costs (obvious and hidden)
  • How to start the conversation with loved ones

Here are a few notes from this presentation.

Signs that help may be needed

  • You’ve noticed major memory loss, and it’s starting to affect their daily routine
  • They’re having trouble keeping up with regular tasks like cooking, cleaning, or hygiene
  • They’ve been diagnosed with a degenerative disease, or are displaying symptoms of dementia or  (like confusion or agitation)
  • It’s getting harder for them to carry and move items or walk around the house
  • You’ve been caring for them, but you no longer have enough time or energy

What is the difference between age-related memory changes and symptoms that may indicate dementia?

Normal age-related memory changes Symptoms that may indicate dementia
Able to function independently and pursue normal activities, despite occasional memory lapses Difficulty performing simple tasks; forgetting how to do things you’ve done many times
Able to recall and describe incidents of forgetfulness Unable to recall or describe specific instances where memory loss caused problems
May pause to remember directions, but doesn’t get lost in familiar places Gets lost or disoriented even in familiar places; unable to follow directions
Occasional difficulty finding the right word, but no trouble holding a conversation Words are frequently forgotten, misused, or garbled; Repeats phrases and stories in same conversation
Judgment and decision-making ability the same as always Trouble making choices; May show poor judgment or behave in socially inappropriate ways

The most important discussions to have start with these questions

  • How so you see the rest of your life unfolding?
  • Where do you see yourself living at 70, 80 , 90 ,100 years of age
  • Would you like to live at home forever or would you like to move to a seniors community one day?
  • Under what medical circumstances would you like to be resuscitated. Have you ever heard of what a DNR is?
  • How long would you like to be kept on life support if you were in critical condition?
  • How would you like to be honored after you pass?

The full online seminar can be watched below.


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